View Full Version : Any way to mount a 15 process paragon in a shutter for reasonable money?

9-Jul-2004, 09:53
'Bought a process Paragon from our own Jim Galli to use with an 11x14 homebuilt. Being a barrel wasn't going to be a problem for that use, but now I want to use it in my 4x5 and find the lack of a shutter more problematic. Can this be mounted in a shutter? Will it be economically feasible?

By the way, the combination of a 6MP DSLR and 4x5 is proving to be wonderful.


John Kasaian
9-Jul-2004, 10:44

Check with SK Grimes. Off hand, it might be possible to front mount it on either an Acme or Universal (only one adapter to machine instead of two, and if you can score on a bargain shutter you might save a substantial sum of $$) or there maybe the option of using a packard shutter if there is one that fits both your lens and lensboard.

Ernest Purdum
9-Jul-2004, 10:49
Mounting a lens "in" a shutter is expensive and rarely economically feasible. Mounting a lens onto the front of a shutter is much less expensive and may work out well.

The first factor is the size of the lens's mounting threads. If significantly smaller than 3 1/4", It would fit in front of a big old Compund 5, the leargest of the inter-lens iris shutters made while physically large lenses were still common. Other possibilities are: Most Universal 5s, 3". Alphax or some Universal 5s, 23 15/16". Compound 4, 2 5/8". Univerrsal and Acme 4 2 5/16". Alphax 4, 2 27/64".

Other considerations are the maximum diaphragm opening and whether or not the shutter will cause vignetting. The website of the late S.K. Grimes, www.skgrimes,com, provides considerable guidance on this subject. Process lenses of the traditional type made for the big old horizontal cameras have a rather narrow field of view so are usually good candidates for front mounting.

If all else fails, a shutter of the Packard variety may be the answer if your lensboard is large enough. Packard housings are roughly tice the size of the opening and you still have to provide for the air fitting required to get pressure to the cylinder on the inside. Some people have mounted Packard shutters in an adapter to fit on the front of the lens. Sometimes a German-made shutter called a "Luc" will show up which is made for use on the front of the lens.

Frank Petronio
9-Jul-2004, 12:04
A little practice with a gentleman's hat or a nice leather lenscap will get you 1/4 sec. and longer for free... I bet you could get pretty good at it.

Jay DeFehr
9-Jul-2004, 13:38
I had my 17" Kodak Copying Ektanon mounted in a Copal #3 by SK Grimes, and it was the smartest dumb thing I've ever done. While it might not be economically pheasible, it is a fantastic lens, and now it's in a great shutter, making it imminently more useful than it would have been in a Packard. If you're too smart to throw your money away on such a venture, examine a print that you've made with the lens in question over a few stiff drinks. If you're still too smart, have a few more drinks. Eventually the magnificence of the print and the lens that produced it will demand the investment, unless you pass out first, in which case the Packard might be a good alternative.

Jim Rice
9-Jul-2004, 17:22
Jay seems to be a man of great sensablity.

Ernest Purdum
9-Jul-2004, 20:08
If you would like to see an example of a front-mounted iris shutter, search eBay for Item 3825481657. This on eis fairly small, only alloing a 2" lens diameter.

John Kasaian
11-Jul-2004, 00:48
Just a thought, one option might be to use a keystone flashmatic, which is a collar that slips over the front of a lens and is secured by screws. The front of the flashmatic is threaded to fit an Ilex Universal shutter. You use the f-stops on the barrel and the speeds on the shutter. What size diameter is the front of your lens? I might have one that'll fit it.

Frank Petronio
11-Jul-2004, 07:48
I wasn't being a wise guy (well...) but seriously - are you really sure you need a shutter? I've mounted several brass lenses and just winged it with the lens cap. Of course, if I ever got that Aero-Ektar f/2.5 lens, I doubt I could continue to wing it wide open, but at f/32 why not?

Dan Fromm
11-Jul-2004, 10:27
Frank, what emulsions do you shoot when you use a lens cap for shutter?

I ask because f/32 is only two stops below f/16, and in the worst case with ISO 100 film f/16 needs 1/100. Are you shooting in the relative dark, using very slow film, or getting by because of your film's latitude?

You're not the only person who's suggested using a lens cap or shutter, and I've always found the advice incomprehensible. This no doubt reflects my origin as a 35 mm snapshotter, which has left me very uncomfortable shooting below f/22.



Frank Petronio
11-Jul-2004, 11:39
I guess I just do more photos in low light - I always seem to find my exposures to be in the 1/4 to 4 second range

Ed Haertel
13-Aug-2004, 08:19
Somewhat late: I happen to have a 15" Process Paragon which has a front mounted shutter. A brass adapter, seems similar to the Keystone referred to previously, is held to the front of the lens with three screws tipped with nylon or other plastic. The front of the adapter is threaded for an Ilex #3 shutter. Works fine and is far cheaper than mounting _in_ a shutter. Somewhat bulky for the backpacking people, but so is a 15" Process Paragon.

7-Jun-2007, 21:21
Is front mounting (that's sounds awful) still the way to go with a 15" Paragon?

Ernest Purdum
8-Jun-2007, 06:23
The several solutions mentioned above would all be very much less expensive than having the cells mounted in a modern shutter. Mounting a shutter behind or in front of a lens requires an adapter which is well within the capabilities of any competent machinist.